UPDATE: Herbert Xavier pleads guilty to manslaughter; state withdraws charges against sisters


 Herbert Xavier, Lauretta Xavier, Manuella Williams were originally jailed for killing their brother
Herbert Xavier (left) pleaded guilty while Lauretta Xavier and Manuella Williams were set free

One pleaded guilty while two are now free after the State decided to dismiss the charges against them.

That is in the case of the Soufriere siblings Manuella Williams, Loretta Xavier and Herbert Xavier who was accused of killing their brother Harrison Williams in September 2010.

The three were originally found guilty of murdering their brother and jailed for 15 years in 2010.

After appealing the Court of Appeal ruled that there were enough errors to render the conviction unsafe and so quashed the conviction and sentence and remitted the matter back to the high court.

A charge of man slaughter was then read to the three who pleaded not guilty.

A jury was empanelled and on March 1, 2016, Herbert Xavier pleaded guilty and is now on remand awaiting sentencing.

The charge against his two sisters was dismissed by the State.

After the decision, Director of public prosecutions (DPP,) Evelina Baptiste, told the court: “This is a matter of serious public interest. Several factors were taken into consideration by the DPP. There must always be a balancing act between rights of victims and defendants. In this matter, the investigating officer is dead and the pathologist who performed the autopsy on the deceased body is out of State and can’t be located for the trial.”

She added: “Justice must be done and we are aware of certain sentiments expressed by witnesses. There was a first trial and a conviction was obtained on appeal it was quashed by the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal who stated that the DPP may order a retrial. They have served some time in jail about 4 years. We are dedicated to ensuring that justice is done in Dominica. It must be noted that every case turns on its own merits.”

Justice Errol Thomas also addressed the court describing the incident as “very unfortunate.”

“This is a very unfortunate situation…children saw and it can have a lasting effect on them. If it was a stranger it would have been different. I will speak to the welfare people for the sake of the children and you all to get some counseling. Take time out to mend the fences…get a priest or somebody to help in that regard,” he stated.

Dawn Yearwood Stewart, Wayne Norde and Darius Jones represented the family.

Herber Xavier will be sentenced later this month.

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  1. beautiful Lady
    March 2, 2016

    What my country have become, to much BET Tv and more, oh yes, the world wide web

  2. LP
    March 2, 2016

    how all u know who fire the fatal blow.one of the sisters is even bigger than the brother.

  3. CD
    March 2, 2016

    Keep in mind that the charge is manslaughter. They would probably be sentenced to 4 to 5 yrs in prison which they have already served. The brother likely delivered the fatal blow and so must accept his fate. The sisters who egged him on and probably fired a few non fatal blows would probably have had their sentences commuted to time served. So the DPP was right in her decision. Keep in mind also, that the investigating officer has since passed and so this compromises the delivery of evidence against the accused. We have to look at this objectively and realize that this may have been the best compromise instead of having all three acquitted for want of evidence against them.

  4. Concern citizen
    March 1, 2016

    Proverbs 15: verse 3
    Clearly states that the eyes of the Lord is in every place to behold the evil and the good,
    there is enough evil in D/ca and the Lord sees all of them so when he the Lord is ready he will act and he will act swiftly, so all of u people who are pretending u don’t know what is going on in the country in front of ur very eye and u are condoning it big time continue

  5. island girl
    March 1, 2016

    They going to leave with this whether they were
    found guilty or not ,,,sad story

  6. Kumbaya
    March 1, 2016

    And these days it is no wonder, why I question the existence of a God

    • Face the Facts
      March 1, 2016

      If you question the existence of God, simply look at your face in the mirror; your entire self and also others. Look at the trees, rivers, lakes, sea, animals, etc.
      Ask yourself, who gave man/woman intelligence and faculties.
      Who created the different countries and languages spoken in the world?
      Do not be deceived by the noon-day/night devil who goes around like a roaring lion seeking souls for his eternal cauldron of fire, for their destruction.
      Never look at what others do and use them as an example. Bear in mind no one is perfect. There is much more.
      Holy Scripture: “The fool says in his heart there is no God.”
      One day as all others, you will stand before God for your eternal judgment. Waste no time in giving him his dues, worshiping him, praying to him and performing acts of love in Jesus Name.
      As important, pray to him for godly/spiritual enlightenment. He will reveal the truth to you.
      God bless, grace and enlighten you.

    • TeteMorne I From...
      March 2, 2016

      You must maintain your ignorance. There STILL is a GOD, our GOD, whether or not you “wonder” about him. Sacwyt sot!

      • Me
        March 2, 2016

        Tete Morne, every one is free to believe in the existence of God or not. The word is belief remember, which infers that there is no empirical data to prove the existence.
        If you believe that it is a crime not to believe in God you are no better than the fanatics of ISIS.

  7. Rescue 911
    March 1, 2016

    The only evidence that valid in dominica is that of the murdered victim.And that’s never going to hapen.

  8. hmmmm
    March 1, 2016

    The justice system in this country is just messed up. People getting away with murder just like that. Smdh

  9. The Evangelist?
    March 1, 2016

    These days I am not at all surprised by these bad news. We have an evil government and expect evil trees to grow.
    If the head is evil and corrupt expect the feet and toes to be evil and corrupt as well. jesus puts it this way in Matt. 7:18:
    A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

    Yes I know bad things happen all over and DA is not exempt. However, the differences is, in most countries evil doers are brought before the court and charged, whether they are government ministers or farmes. Here we as a church have embraced them and their evils, in some cases even partake in them
    while try to convince people that they are the wisest and best we have had.

  10. true2country
    March 1, 2016

    God doesn’t sleep! Their sins shall find them out!

    • March 1, 2016

      We all have sinned in different ways and come short of the glory of God,,,

      • Afterall
        March 1, 2016

        and shall be saved. but always remember that we should not willfully commit sin and then ask for forgiveness because the same god of glory can become the god of wrath.

  11. March 1, 2016

    So to get a conviction in Dominicayou need video evidence plus witness testimony and the muddier weapon signed by the murderer……

    • Bibs
      March 1, 2016

      You also need the dead person to come in court and testify. Too many of these are happening. I guess we need to update our outdated laws.

  12. The Prophet
    March 1, 2016

    …and Cain slayed Abel. Not only a man dead but also a father and provider of jobs to many others, who’s families depended on their wages. One wanton deed of fratricide that also ruined the lives of so many others. May the Lord have mercy on you.

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